The South Dakota State Fair Foundation is pleased to announce that Huron couple Nels and Dorothy Olsen have provided a gift of $20,000 for the new exhibit hall on the South Dakota State Fairgrounds.
Nels and Dorothy Olsen are long-time residents of Huron. They owned and operated Olsen Implement, a 90+ year family-owned farm machinery and truck business. Being active in agriculture and the farming industry, they have been supporters of the State Fair and 4-H for many years.
“We are happy to be able to contribute to this project because of the strong positive influence 4-H has on so many of our youth,” stated the Olsens when asked what motivated them to contribute toward the exhibit hall’s campaign.
“Without the generosity of individuals like Nels and Dorothy, we would not be able to realize our goal of providing a statewide home for 4-H members and a place for year-round events to take place in the east-central region of South Dakota. We are grateful to the Olsens for their significant gift,” commented Peggy Besch, State Fair manager.
Nels and Dorothy resided in Hitchcock, S.D., for a few decades before purchasing their business in Huron. The couple has enjoyed being involved in music and church activities. Over her years, Dorothy has enjoyed playing bridge, giving piano lessons and playing music for church events. Nels fondly remembers his involvement in the community’s Rotary Club, Chamber and Visitor’s Bureau, the James Valley Shrine Club and many board memberships. Nels has always been civic-minded, promoting any project that would benefit the Huron community or youth involved in agriculture. He was instrumental in establishing an agricultural scholarship at SDSU in 1996, sponsored by former International Harvester dealers in South Dakota. After retiring, the Olsens travelled extensively. The couple currently has four children, eleven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Over the past several months, the South Dakota State Fair Foundation has been carrying out a capital campaign for the exhibit hall, which will be a statewide home for South Dakota 4-H; something not currently available for 4-H members. The building will be located on the site that once featured Clover Hall.
The exhibit hall’s construction began recently. When finished, the 48,000-square-foot Nordby Exhibit Hall for 4-H, Youth, and Community will feature more than 30,000 square feet of exhibit space, multiple classrooms, a performance stage and a large kitchen for 4-H Special Foods competitions. The building will host multiple 4-H activities and community and regional events year-round.
To date, the South Dakota State Fair Foundation has raised more than $4 million of its $4.7 million goal. Those interested in supporting the Capital Campaign are invited to contact the State Fair Foundation at 605-553-4251 or visit www.sdstatefairfoundation.com.